bannerFranchisor Stories

Top Franchise Development Websites: Number 3 — Celebree School

A panel of 9 franchise industry experts judged over 200 franchise development websites and ranked Celebree School’s site at No. 3.

This month, the annual 1851 Franchise Franchise Development Website Awards have returned to announce the most effective and engaging development sites in franchising. A panel of nine expert judges evaluated each franchise development site according to three criteria: first impressions, quality of content and ease of use. Sites were scored on a five-point scale in accordance with these three criteria, with the overall website rankings based on a composite average of the judges’ scores. 

Ranked at No. 3 is Celebree School’s franchise development website, which received an overall score of 4.10. The child care and early education franchise scored a 4.29 in the first impressions category, a 4.00 in overall website content and 4.00 for ease of use. 

To determine first impression metrics for each of the franchise development sites, five subfactors are taken into consideration: usability, UI/UX design, site performance, SEO and mobile accessibility. Celebree School’s score in this category indicates that its user-friendliness and navigable design hit all of the judges’ marks.

“We know that prospective franchisees have to wade through a lot of information on their path to ownership,” said Ali Kraus, manager of franchise development marketing at Celebree School. “We wanted to make sure the information delivery was direct and not too overwhelming.”

The content category metrics were determined by the presence of three important subfactors: motivating content, calls to action and reasons to buy now. Sites that excelled in this category utilize a storytelling element designed to compel a prospective franchisee, rather than consumers. According to Dianna Bailer, vice president of operations at Franchise Performance Group and one of this year’s judges, websites often fall short when they use consumer-facing product imagery rather than imagery that sells the franchising experience.

“Where brands get hung up is in their use of imagery that sells the product and not the franchisee experience, which is what you’re actually selling,'' said Bailer. “One of the key differences between successful franchise development sites and sites that are failing is knowing that difference — knowing what you’re selling and whom you’re selling to. That’s the key distinction that needs to be made on franchise websites.”

Celebree School’s franchise development website greets prospective buyers immediately with an answer to the “Why now?” question that content is supposed to inform. In a video from Celebree Founder and CEO Richard Huffman, he explains that even before the coronavirus crisis began, child care was already the second-fastest-growing franchise prospect and the third most profitable.

“With so many out of employment it’s prime time to consider options that may have only been a dream tucked away or something you planned to pursue years from now,” said Huffman in the video. “At the height of the threat of the virus, early childhood providers were deemed essential, and we’ve remained open and resilient during these difficult economic times.”

Additionally, Celebree’s site uses motivating content to highlight the route to ownership as a simple process, breaking it down into five easy-to-follow steps, and addresses prospective buyers’ immediate questions like, “How much does it cost?,” “How much can I make?” and “How else will this benefit both me and my community?” The site also quickly points out where there are locations available and where there are opportunities for growth. 

“It was important for us to feel like our franchising website made it easy for users to find answers to their questions easily and that the resources necessary to help them on their path to ownership were readily available to help make the whole process much smoother,” said Kraus.

And speaking of inquiry, it’s important to share that the ease-of-use metrics were determined by the location, depth and ease of the initial inquiry forms within the website.

For Celebree School, the opportunity to inquire is made clear in multiple spots throughout every page of the franchise development site, part of the reasoning behind such a high score. An “Inquire Today” button is easy to find in the corner of every page of the website, and the inquiry form itself is short, sweet and to the point so that prospective buyers can spend more timing talking through the buying process with a Celebree employee after the initial inquiry.

The three metrics of first impressions, content and ease of use offer a streamlined way to analyze the effectiveness of a franchise development website. As the rankings show, when these three factors come together, the website can become the starting point of the franchise development process and serve as the primary entry point into the brand.